My Final Blog Post: Groups And Most Importantly, Racial Groups, Diving Deep Into My Own Stereotype.

I think about life and how we are each divided into little groups since the first day we take our first breath to the last day where we close our eyes and see nothing again. I believe a lot of people think about this too, but my question for you has to be, why are we put in these groups in the first place and how can we break free from them? Especially these racial groups that divide us so much and make us so “different” from one another. The one I want to use as my example throughout this essay is one that I have lived and had all my life, Hispanic and more specific, Guatelamateca, which is a word used to call people from the country of Guatemala. As I go throughout my examples I want everyone to think about the stereotypes that others have put upon you and to think about how popular culture makes you look in front of everyone and the reasons why they do that to everyone.

At first when I was younger, about seven years old I never thought I was very different, I had just moved from Guatemala, a country where I had been born and had lived and loved for 6 years to a country that was cold and rainy, and salty and I wasn’t too sure what everyone was saying. Then I learned and understood and figured out that really people did think I was different because of the way I talked and the way I acted. Throughout this term, I really was able to reflect on that as I studied the articles given to us to read and did my own research about my topic.

One of the first things that really helped me realize that stereotypes, like me being Hispanic, really are something that we do every day, with and without really thinking about it was growing up and having people say “what part of Mexico are you from” without really giving me a chance to say that I actually was from somewhere else. As I have looked at things during class I also noticed that even though I don’t mean to, sometimes I do the same thing. For example on of the things that we learned about was how to analyze and article/ an image without putting our opinion on it before giving it a chance. During this process I really had to check everything off as a list because I would start writing my own opinion of what I thought was right and wrong and try to say what I saw and what I felt but we weren’t supposed to do that so it took a lot of rewriting in order to try to get it without my opinion but just real analyzes showing me that stereotyping and looking at something and think about something else that you feel “relates” to it is something that comes naturally into our minds and we can’t or don’t always control it.

This lead me to consider how I was going to look at the topic of what I was researching and try to understand it not because I have gone through it but because I want to learn why the popular culture sees me and other Hispanics the way they do and don’t really give it a second thought. As I did my research I really took to heart the conversations I had with my family and friends as well as the recommendation from my Professor and my peers and the wonderful comments they made about their own stereotypes during our conversations online. As well as how the articles and subjects we read about helped me understand how to look at the points I choose. I think that with that combination it really lead me to understand that we can’t really truly break free from stereotypes but we can help them change for the better and lead them to be more of a positive interaction instead of and ignorant and negative way of thinking about people.

The first example I decided to analyze really was how people moved to the USA and why most people generalize that if you are Hispanic you must be from Mexico and the newest trend you must be from Guatemala. Something I learned long ago in one of my History classes when I was in High School that has stuck with me for a long time was that around the 1800’s the USA took over half of Mexico’s land which lead to the first Hispanics in the USA, making them USA Citizens because of the USA taking over something that wasn’t theirs to begin with, but really what can you do? that is what happens when there is a war. Things change and people learn to live but that is also how stereotypes begin, there is a change and that change brings questions and leads to assumptions. In this case, it leads to people seeing Mexicans as the only Hispanics that lived in the USA. Which leads me to analyze that this is where most people got their idea about everyone that is Hispanic must be from Mexico. Something that is most recent though is a new trend that has started putting one more culture into this assumption and that is people from Guatemala. Which just started because it is a growing population in the USA, but still very small and for the most part they are assumed to be Mexican anyway.

Throughout the process of research, the another example that showed me how people view and feel about Hispanics was a new TV show called American Housewife. It is a show that talks about a regular American family today is the modern world. It is a show that has a lot of different stereotypes but the one I am addressing is how it shows Hispanics. Even though this show is mostly whites and one Asian and one black person, again with their own stereotypes, they show the Hispanics it is for a very brief moment and it is how they have put them in many shows. They are the cleaning ladies and they look chubby and dark and with strong accents that don’t always allow use to recognize what they are saying. In the episode I watched the boy that the “American housewife”   has named Oliver has a side business with this Hispanic maid and they are talking about how he owns her her money and he is acting like he is smarter than her and saying, look I know what I’m doing trust me, I’ll get us more money, this in itself is sexist and racist because he is a white, male, middles school kid, treating this older Hispanic woman like someone that doesn’t know or understand what money means. Well, that happens and she tells him to get her her money because she wants to go back to her country. So by the end of the episode he learns and understands that he needs to give her her money and he goes and says “so you can go back and see you family in Guatemala” putting a stereotype on her without really asking where she is from, and she looks at him and says “I’m from El Salvador”, Now I want you guys to look at this like you were someone foreign that moved into this country and what would you think if you saw this? I can tell you looking at the facts that it is obvious that the kid didn’t pay any attention to the person he is working with, and second, he doesn’t really care because to him she is just a worker. In the end, he even says whatever and thinks he has made this right by the mere fact that he gave her the money he owed her anyway. The show made it seem like that was the most important part and that Oliver learned and a valuable lesson but really looking and analyzing it further you see that the skip over the fact that he is still disrespectful to the older woman and doesn’t care that really she is a person that has more to her then every show is willing to show in their TV shows.

This leads me to my next example which is another comedy TV show called Last Man standing. This is a show about a Dad that has three daughters and a wife and he works as the publicist of and outdoor company. In this show, there is a lot of sexist and political and racial jokes and one of them, but what I want to analyze is something different. Mike, that is the dad’s name, and his wife Vanessa decide to hire a cleaning lady, and what race is she? She is Hispanic of course and again the way she physically looks is chubby, dark-skinned, dark hair, with a strong accent. Now the reason why I am very keen on mentioning how she looks and how the  other Hispanics looked on the TV show American housewife is because the way they

Blanca Serving Mike salted peanuts in Last Man Standing show Hispanic is very similar all the time. It doesn’t matter what country they are from or anything, to the people creating the shows, they always put a Hispanic as dark skinned, strong accent, dark hair and the only thing that varies is whether they are skinny or chubby based on the fact of what the show is about. For example In the TV Show Modern family the only Hispanic show there is Sofia Vergara who played a Mexican woman that married an older man that is rich. The way she looks is very important, she is always wearing very skin tight clothing that shows all her body and curves. Compared to the poor Hispanics shown in TV shows are shown as all the same basic facts they use expect that they are chubby. Something that I noticed while looking at all the facts was that really when it comes to everything that is Hispanic based they don’t really care about looking into it further than what is common on TV, even studies are more based on what people have seen then what people really know.

As I was looking at the library resources and everything on the web and around me was that the titles really said it all. When I looked up Hispanics, and more specifically Guatemala, everything was generalized. No matter how specific I was, I always ended up with the same thing, Mexicans, and Why poor Hispanics are obese, and why Hispanics do drugs and why Hispanics are addicted to alcohol it was never something good about Hispanic but instead it was always something negative about them and assumptions that because they group they studied was prone to that that all Hispanic must be the same.

In Conclusion:

I was truly hoping that I would be proven wrong about stereotypes and especially the stereotypes about Hispanics and that my life had just been a confusion and really I was a one in a million at being thought of as a stereotype, but instead I was proven right that stereotypes are something we are born with, since the first breath you draw to the very last one.  Which leads me to really see that yes it is going to be hard to change these stereotype that I have been born into and most people are probably going to continue thinking that I am from Mexico and really I will live as a maid and not get too far with my life but hopefully as I go throughout the rest of my life I can show them that there is something more I can offer and that I am not just the newest trend of Hispanics, but that I am me and me is amazing at being different. If anything this research showed me how really Hispanics are all put under the same categories but I hope one day that changes and during a test I will be able to put Guatelmateca or when someone asked me where I’m from they don’t just jump to the conclusion that I must be from Mexico. I never thought that my research would lead me to a deeper understanding of who I am by showing me who people think I am but who I really I’m not and, I hope all of you have discovered who you are and take that with you as you go throughout the rest of you lives.

Work Cited:

S2 Episode 10, “The Help”, Last Man Standing, Jack Burditt, ABC. 2011

watch on ABC or online.

S1 Episode 11, “The Snow Storm”, American HouseWife, Sarah Dunn, ABC. 2016

watch on ABC or online

Modern Family, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, ABC. 2009

watch on ABC or online

Bergad, Laird W., and Herbert S. Klein. Hispanics in the United States: A demographic, social, and economic history, 1980-2005. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Acculturation and drug use disorders among Hispanics in the U.S.(Report), Journal of Psychiatric Research, Feb 2013, Vol.47(2), p.226(7)

Google and google scholar to see what came up in general for every time I typed in Hispanic, Guatemala, Latino, TV, Books, Studies, woman etc.

The portrayal of relationships of young adults in movies and television


For my blog post I chose to analyze how pop culture portrays the relationships of 20’s somethings in movies and television. My reason for choosing this specific trope is due to the time period I am in my life and how it corresponds to the kinds of media I consume on a daily basis. The three primary sources I have chosen to help me with my analysis are Scott Pilgrim vs The World, How I Met Your Mother and the hit television show Girls. All three sources have completely different show dynamics but all have central themes that are quite related.

My findings were fairly interesting, on the surface the shows portrayed the relationships of the main characters with their friends/families/lovers as self-fulfilling, selfish, and tumultuous. The deeper I dived into the sources and the secondary sources I found an interesting trend. The way 20’s somethings relationships are portrayed in movies and television has to do with the transitional stage that being in your 20’s causes.


Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Dealing with the past.


In the film Scott Pilgrim vs The World, the main character Scott Pilgrim, meets a beautiful delivery girl named Ramona Flowers. At the time Scott has no idea that this girl he has fallen for has a slew of ex boyfriends that she has left with little to no closure. Of these ex boyfriends (the 7 evil ex’s) she has cheated on each one consecutively.

It is clear in the portrayal in the film and the comic from which it’s based that Ramona is free spirited, hence the colorful hair that she changes every week and a half. She recently moved to Toronto to start over, hoping to escape her past. This is typical of people in their 20’s to do. Most are have yet to gotten married or have kids so the roots that they have set down could be as simple as a few ex boyfriends that they need to get away from to start over.

Like most movies that Michael Cera stars in, he needs the help of his friends to win the girl. This movie is no different. Scott Pilgrim is a lazy slacker who is selfish and doesn’t want anything to do with anything complicated. It is because of this that he is dating a high schooler by the name of Knives Chau. His immaturity causes him to essentially be a free loader living off of his friend’s good graces. He is stuck in a loop until he is forced to progress or transition to something more.  Insert Ramona Flowers. A very complicated girl for whom Pilgrim must defeat all 7 of her evil ex’s to date her.

Their relationship- both Scott and Ramona are similar in the way that they deal with their past, they run from it. As one of my secondary sources points out, “Scott bundles up all of his guilt and negative memories and crams them away in hopes that he can forget them and be able to live with himself. Ramona on the other hand, ends every relationship the same way: she runs away as far as she can, as fast as she can.” (  Scott can’t seem to get past the idea that Ramona is his ideal “Dream Girl” and doesn’t notice that she has very real problems. Likewise, Ramona can’t get past the fact that Scott may have been cheating on her with Knives Chau. The idea that they both have an idea of what the other should be like as opposed to how they actually are is something that is very common in relationships. Especially newly formed relationships, this as you can see can be a serious problem for someone in their 20’s to deal with emotionally because they have yet to have developed the maturity of say someone twice their age.

How I Met Your Mother: The importance of friends


In the television series How I Met Your Mother, the show follows main character Ted Mosby as he navigates relationship after relationship trying to find his future wife. There is one constant throughout the show for Ted, his friendships with Marshall, Lilly, Robin and Barney. While the title of the show may denote how Ted finds the future mother of his children, it is much more about how important friendship is as one transitions through their 20’s and all the problems that arise from such an important phase in life.

The relationships-

Ted and Marshall: The two of them are best friends who use to be dorm mates back in college. Marshall is someone who Ted can always count on, more importantly Ted will model what his ideal relationship will be like based on Marshall and his wife Lilly. Marshall always seems to be able to call Ted on his stuff when he is acting like a moron. There are various points in the show when Ted falls for an obviously bad choice and Marshall is there to support Ted even when he knows Ted will end up getting hurt.

Marshall and Lilly: The ideal relationship. Marshall met Lilly back in college while rooming with Ted. The three of them become great friends and end up moving to New York together. While they have their moments, for the most part they have a solid relationship and are both there for Ted when he needs them.

Barney, Ted and Marshall: Barney can be over the top. Sometimes he may get ted or Marshall into some trouble but in the end he always seems to pull through. While he met the two of them later after Ted and Marshall have already been friends for so long, he soon filled the outsider dynamic that counter balanced the relationship.

Robin and Ted: Robin was Ted’s dream girl. You could call this a best friend romance, which is worse than a regular romance because that there’s so much on the line. The two of them struggled to draw boundaries after they initially split up because the two of them still had feelings for each other. Without spoiling the ending things all work out.

This show reflects how important friends are during your young adult years. While there are ups and downs everything always works out because they have each other. This can be represented in their favorite meeting spot, the bar below Ted and Marshall’s apartment. This is where the whole group usually meets and you really start to understand the different dynamics that are prevalent in large groups of close friends, especially in this age group. As Emily Yahr points out in her article  “Overall though, “HIMYM” offered a much more valuable lesson about the importance of adult friendship, as the intense bonding in post-college years means that those friends essentially become your family.”

Girls: Building a relationship with yourself 

Girls blogpost tv show

The show Girls may not seem to be unique to outsider observing, but what makes this show so great is because it focuses on a group of girls being unapologetically themselves or at least what they think is themselves. Girls focuses on the 4 girls you see above you, but what you don’t see above is the trials, abortions, job losses, the sexuality, the failed relationships that come and go, the friendships lost and gained. “It feels like this smartly aging show—which still has so much (sometimes too much) to say about friendship, love, and the slow-yielding benefits of self-acceptance—deserves a nudge back into the pop-culture nerve center. It’s time to re-embrace Girls, for all its complexities and frustrations. Maybe it’s even time to start arguing about it again.”

We all know in order to maintain good relationships with our friends we need to have good healthy consistent relationships with ourselves…well this is quite the opposite for these girls and quite the opposite for any young adult. That’s what makes this show so good! Here’s a bunch of girls that everyone that’s in their 20’s can relate too. With each season, each character gains a little more insight of their own personality and with that comes loss, pain, success and triumph. That’s what life is all about.

Conclusion: or the big takeaway

Each of the shows/movies I chose, uses comedy to portray growing up in your 20’s, which for me is exactly why I chose them. Being in your 20’s is a huge transitional time. You start out being granted independence from your parents, you also dabble with knowing your supposed to be doing something productive like hold a steady job or continue your education, all while trying to find yourself. These shows allow us a break, they give us an outlet to feel relieved that some horrible situation can be relatable and with a little theatrics their even funnier than our real lives. And to be honest, they help contribute to making my life a little more “doable”.

Learn From This: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Harris O’Malley, Paging Doctor Nerd Love,

Why ‘How I Met Your Mother’ connected so deeply with the younger generation, Emily Yahr, director,The Washington Post,

Girls Is the Best Show No One’s Talking About Right Now, WIRED, Brian Raftery,



Stereotyping Of Student Athletes Throughout Popular Culture

Never judge a book by its cover, simply means do not form an opinion about a person based solely by appearance.  Have you ever stereotyped a certain group of people? Everyone has probably subconsciously stereotyped someone at some point in their lifetime.  Stereotyping happens every day, everywhere no matter how hard we try not to do it. The definition of stereotype is, “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”   I have been a student athlete my entire life and have noticed in pop culture there are many different stereotypes associated with student athletes.   Many stereotypes are not necessarily true, but perception is everything.  Student athletes in popular culture are usually perceived as “God like hero’s”, “the Popular Kids,” or the “Dumb Jocks”.  Many people believe student athletes are given special treatment or perceived as students who receive special treatment. There are different stories and scandals about student athletes every day. The media especially likes to focus on the negative stories about student athletes rather than the good ones.  Feel good stories are nice but scandal stories increase revenue.  Student athletes are either loved by many when they win, or hated by many when they lose a game.  Athletes are judged by their performance, they are either a success or a failure depending on the win/loss column, their character is secondary.  Student athletes are portrayed by pop culture as being dumb, super human,  spoiled students who do not appreciate the preferential treatment they receive.  Nothing could be further from the truth as 99% of student athletes are smart, work hard in their sport and receive no special treatment.

High School and college sports have been around for decades and there has always been controversy whether athletes receive special treatment.  Special treatment falls under many different categories.  A few athletes have received special treatment, ranging from small violations like getting free food from a restaurant, to more severe infractions, as in accepting money or expensive gifts from agents, or pressuring a professor into changing a grade so the athlete remains academically eligible.  I found a lot of great examples showing that indeed there are cases of student athletes receiving special treatment. I also found key examples on how student athletes are portrayed throughout media. In the article, Education; Bending The Rules For Student Athletes written by William E Schmidt, he discusses the scandal University of Georgia faced when they were caught for giving special treatment to their athletes. At a testimony in court, University of Georgia’s faculty members were charged with changing the grades of their student athletes in remedial classes in order to stay eligible. A certain professor was told to change the grade of one of his football students because “he scored the winning touchdown against their rival Georgia Tech.” It is no secret that there are special treatment scandals everywhere.  I am a student athlete and I can testify for my fellow team mates stating we do not receive special treatment or fall under that stereotype.  I believe most people do not realize being a student athlete is like working a full-time job, which includes travel, and going to school.  We are on a strict schedule which includes practice, conditioning, study hall, and volunteering in the community.  Being a student athlete is not only physically taxing but also mentally taxing.  Athletes place high expectations on themselves, and when we do not perform as well as we would like it can be very difficult mentally.  There is not a lot written about the stressful life of a student athlete, most writings are about the games.  Nor are the benefits of being a student athlete discussed much in the media.   One of the best gifts an athlete receives through their college career are the friendships formed with team mates.

Another stereotype I always see about student athletes is the “popular kid,” and “God like hero” appearance constantly shown on different T.V shows and movies. Throughout popular culture TV jocks are always played by big handsome men.  They always try and find the most attractive looking people to play the different athletes, and give the appearance these athletes are perfect, they are Godly hero’s.  A perfect example would be the T.V. show Awkward and the movie High School Musical. In the show, Awkward, there is this very handsome character, his name is Matty McKibben. Matty was very beloved for his athletic skills and his handsome face in the T.V show. Matty was a star athlete making him a very popular man in his high school. In the movie, High School Musical, the athletes are also the most popular kids in their school. The athletes were the most attractive and most liked in their high school. The famous character Troy Bolton, from High School Musical, was the star basketball player every guy wanted to be and every girl wanted to have. When you think about some of your favorite movies and T.V shows it is very easy to find that stereotypical popular, attractive, athlete.


While the image of student athletes on TV shows as being gorgeous, super athletic, charming, perfect kids, makes for great TV, the reality is most student athletes are average looking with pimples and other personality flaws just like everyone else.  The problem with portraying athletes as super human is it can give kids with little athletic ability an inferiority complex.  How can they possible compete with these perfect people? Another issue which could arise with the perception of student athletes being “God Like” is some athletes will believe the hype written about them and become complete jerks. The sad part about athletes believing they are above other people is less than 2% of college athletes turn pro in their sport.  Meaning college athletes best serve themselves and the community when they try to display exemplary behavior in representing their college.

Another perception of student athletes in pop culture is that they are dumb.  The only reason they got into college is because they play a sport.  Nothing could be further from the truth because student athletes are admitted into college needing to fulfill the same requirements as any student applying to the same college.  Meaning if a school requires a 3.0 GPA and a 1600 on the SAT’s for admittance into their college, then a student athlete must pass the same requirements.  Are their cases of students not having the minimal requirements to get into college, of course, but the number is quite low.  Colleges do not want to give scholarships to athletes if they think the kid is going to struggle academically. Meaning they do not want to lose money.  A student on academic probation is of no use to the team.  Athletes take the same required courses as anyone for their major, yet the perception of the dumb athlete still persists.  A student athlete must not only study, they practice every day, and travel to many games, leaving on Thursdays and returning late Sunday night or early Monday morning.  Student athletes basically have a full-time job with their sport, and go to school full time, yet the dumb jock image is as prevalent as ever.  Student athletes are also required to devote time to charities in the community which benefits them and the community.  I wish pop culture would show the athlete as smart, hardworking, and charitable because they are.

In pop culture student athletes, have been perceived as given charitable treatment when it comes to their academic admissions.  They are given free food, given better grades than deserved, they do not even have to show up to class.  Of course this is not true.  Very few student athletes are given any preferential treatment.  There are just too many rules and regulations a college must abide by, and they cannot give preferential treatment.  Another myth of the student athlete is that they are dumb.  Student athletes go to school full time and put in full time hours with their sport.  Student athletes are smart and hard working for the most part.  It is important the image of the student athletes change so little kids do not think they do not have to study because they are going to be jocks. Young kids need to see both male and female athletes as smart, hardworking community minded young adults because everyone benefits from the positive image.

Learning Moments:

One major thing that I have learned throughout the year was how to analyze media artifacts. Throughout the different blog post throughout this term, we got to dive into different articles and different advertisements. I learned how to really search for the hidden meaning behind certain advertisements as well. In week 4, Analyzing Primary Sources, we had to watch an Adidas advertisement and we then had to figure out things such as, why was it made, who was it made for? What patterns or repetitions did you notice in the ad? Being asked questions like that challenged me to really think about what certain articles and advertisements, etc, are trying to tell us, or what they are trying to get us to take notice, or what they want us to think about a certain thing/idea. I now look at media artifacts with a different perception, and I try to analyze everything the best I can.

Another major learning moment I had was when we were discussing diversity issues in popular culture. I believe it was in week 5, Reflections on Hollywood film. I did not realize how much the entertainment industry is lacking with diversity! I can’t seem to find the link, but we were provided with a link to a website that had different videos of the diverse characters. These videos included all of the lines the character had in the film. Most of them were very short lines and had very few lines all together. It was terrible! I was expecting the videos to be somewhat long, you know including every spoken line from a movie, but no, some were only 30 seconds! That really stuck out to me in my brain showing how much we lack in providing everyone with diverse characters or providing everyone with different cultures to view.

Works Cited:

WILLIAM E. SCHMIDT., EDUCATION; BENDING THE RULES FOR STUDENT ATHLETES, Special to the New York Times. Published: January 14, 1986

Awkward, directed by Millicent Shelton (2011, MTV), TV

High School Musical, directed by Kenny Ortega (2006, Disney), TV

Media Portrayal and Gentrification in Portland, Oregon


As a person who has lived in Portland her entire life, I found myself a little bit judgemental and defensive about the way that Portland, Oregon and the people who are from here have been represented. For some reason I tried and tried to disprove the stereotypes constantly presented of Portland people in the media, but I have found myself ultimately accepting that maybe the media is onto something. The representation of people native to Portland, Oregon though slightly exaggerated, is ultimately pretty spot on. However, with further media exploration and research, I have found that the portrayal of people from Portland in the media is only representative of a very specific group of Portland people.

Primary Sources


Over the course of my research, I found two good sources of media that showed compelling perspectives of Portland people. I started with the most obvious and widely known representation of Portland, the IFC television show, Portlandia. Though I am not a huge fan of the show overall, it definitely addresses some interesting stereotypes and conventional perceptions of people from Portland. For six seasons now the sketch comedy show has parodied common lifestyle and cultural norms of people from the proclaimed “weird” city.

In the form of humor, the show touches on many conventional social norms that seem to be embraced all throughout Portland. From the use of all natural and organic hygiene products, to feminism, to the over apologetic, Portlandia does exemplify the people of Portland pretty well.

I found both truth and humor in one of the very first sketches on the show. In an episode titled “Farm,” characters played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are seen sitting at a table in a restaurant. As they are engaging in small talk the waitress approaches the table to greet them. She introduces herself and asks if the couple if they have any questions about the menu, which they seemed very interested in. “I guess I do have a question about the chicken, if you could just tell us a little bit more about it” says Brownstein. The waitress then proceeds to give some further information about the chicken, even accessing his own personal file complete with his name and a profile photograph.

Though a goofy presentation, I actually found this scene to be pretty representative of common concerns Portlanders tend to hold. As a result of a high demand for local, ethically produced products from the people of Portland, all throughout the city words like “organic,” “natural,” and “free-range” can be found pasted onto windows and menus and are used as an extremely effective sales technique. Known as a very “green” city, the importance of sustainable products and practices I would say is actually pretty high up on the priority list of Portland inhabitants.

Movoto Blog Site

As Portland continues to grow in population, so does the abundance of videos and blogs claiming to illustrate what Portland and it’s people are really like. I found one in particular on titled 10 Portland Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate, and to no surprise, I actually did find them to be extremely representative.

The blog claimed that people from the city are overly nice to strangers and to their pets. It stereotypes Portlanders as coffee snobs, alcoholics, and even “olympic brunchers.” I found the most accuracy however in the section that identified people from Portland as “Professional Recyclers.” Growing up in Portland, I have never lived a life where I did not recycle, and under certain circumstances, you are actually required to by law. So I think it is safe to say that indeed, Portlanders are professionals at recycling, a cultural attribute I am proud to affirm.

Secondary Sources

On the hunt for secondary sources, the articles and information I found actually made me look at my primary sources from a new perspective. While organic produce and products are important, and initiatives to grow and develop sustainability is critical to preserving the planet, these factors may have actually greatly contributed to another aspect of Portland’s newfound identity, the gentrified, “whitest city” in the country.

The article, Retail Gentrification and Race: The Case of Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon discusses how the gradual, yet seemingly sudden influx of urban retail locations such as yoga studios and organic food markets have brought about a new specific generation of Portlanders, the white urban hipsters. What has been historically marked as a largely African American neighborhood, Alberta Street, North, and Northeast Portland in general are now almost entirely white. As Portland continues to develop and grow, the uprising of over priced clothing shops and boutiques has consequently left many native Portlanders feeling intimidated, unwelcome, and out of place.

Similarly, the article, Contesting Sustainability: Bikes, Race, and Politics in Portlandia further confirms how seemingly positive and sustainable city initiatives can delude, deceive, and hide serious consequences for Portland people, and the city as a whole. While sustainable actions are often greatly encouraged, commonly, it is at the expense of communities that more often than not, are made up minority group members or families of a low socioeconomic status. Lloyd Center Mall in Northeast Portland for example, was widely promoted as a sustainable action and benefit for the city, but many are unaware of the countless amounts of African American families and individuals that were displaced because of it’s construction.


In conclusion, the portrayal I have found of Portland people in the media is representative of White Portland more than anything. Though often described as a city with great diversity, shows like Portlandia for example are overwhelmingly White. Without a single main character of color, Portlandia depicts many cultural aspects and norms of White communities in Portland, leaving out almost entirely any illustrations or even mention of minorities or communities of color, which are often highly segregated throughout the city. Additionally, the 10 Portland Stereotypes blog does not include a single person of color in any of its depictions, and many of the stereotypes it drew from very representative of an upper/ middle class association.

Learning Moments

There were many learning moments for me throughout the course of this term. I mostly enjoyed the lesson at the start of the course on media literacy and identifying and recognizing legitimate internet sources. This has not only helped me become a more informed and advanced researcher, but it has also guided me to explore more media and news outlets online in general, and to be more critical and observant of the news and media that surrounds me.

Work Cited

Amy Lubitow and Thaddeus R. Miller. “Contesting Sustainability: Bikes, Race, and Politics in Portlandia.” Environmental Justice, Volume 6, Issue 4, 2013, 121-126.

Daniel Monroe Sullivan and Samuel C. Shaw. “Retail Gentrification: The Case of Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon.” Urban Affairs Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, 2011, 413-432.

“Farm” Portlandiawritten by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Jonathan Krisel, and Allison Silverman, directed by Jonathan Krisel, IFC Productions. 2011.

Mollie Pennington. “10 Portland Stereotypes that are Completely Accurate.”, March 14th, 2017.

“Portlandia- In the restaurant.” YouTube, uploaded by isoc tudor, 25 January 2011,

Tomboy Censored Media: The Portrayal of Females in Popular Media

Tomboys are a great example of how American society has overlooked the true meaning of understands gender, race, class, and sexuality. There are already countless articles surrounding the cinema’s influence on society’s point of view. But what happens when films start to portray females outside of the traditional values of womanhood? Better yet, what assumptions does the public make surrounding tomboys? And are these portrayals usually ‘correct’ and if not why? These are some of the questions I attempt to answer within this blog post. In the end I hope to understanding how and why tomboys are portrayed in the media a certain way.

Identifying the Tomboy

Its always important to understand where and when an identity first showed its colors. The word ‘Tomboy’ has been around longer then we think; at least since the mid-16th century. Before the world underwent some changes in the early 19th-century, the word ‘tomboy’ was actually used to describe rambunctious young boys. Of course, just as time moves forward so does societies ideals. However, society has one major flaw in its design. This flaw is the very idea that every single person can fit into a category. What most people forget is that within these category there are other categories, and within those there are others. You see there are literally and figuratively limitless categories describing ones identity. It is to my belief that this is where the word ‘unique’ comes from.

Since the early 1920s, the term Tomboy was defined as—a girl who shows behavioral characteristics of that of a boy. They would consciously dress and act like a guy. Forcefully mimicking a guys behavior to make themselves standout among the traditional girls. In my opinion, that is a very broad definition. In a behavioral study done in 2002, the authors wrote “that individuals can be male-typical in some respects and female-typical in others” (Bailey 333). In other words, there is no such thing as an activity, or even a behavior, that is exclusive to males and or females. It is here that I would like to make an important note that throughout my time spent researching tomboys in the media, I have found that there is not just one type of tomboy. There are the ‘traditional’ tomboys—one who dresses and acts like a guy. Then there are ‘girl’ tomboys—someone who mixes both girl and guy attire and behaviors. And then theres the ‘social’ tomboy—where you dress like a girl and act masculine in public, but when you go home you put on your boxers and play video games.

Tomboy vs. LGBTQ

I kind of feel like the public is getting lazy at this point and doesn’t want to analysis tomboys. So as a result, they just stuffed them into the Queer category. The problem with this, is if a tomboy shows up on the big-screen, the first assumption people will make is that they are apart of the LGBTQ community when they’re really not. I think its safe to say that by the way the mass public perceived tomboys, they sort of assumed that the word tomboy was just another identity for someone who’s queer.

Coming from a personal experience, although I’m pretty sure a lot of people can relate, having short hair and dressing very masculine can get a little bit irritating and exhausting sometimes. The reason I say that is because people immediately make the assumption that because we look even the slightest like a guy, then we must be gay. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been mistaken as a lesbian, based solely on my haircut and my clothes. I have met so many other girls like me. Where society thinks that they look like a lesbian but in fact they identify as a tomboy. Like I said before, it can get extremely irritating and exhausting to have to explain yourself to a complete stranger. Ley me make this perfectly clear. Being a lesbian is a choice of sexuality. Being a tomboy is not. I don’t have a problem with how many sexual identities there are, and I love that society is now taking the time to understand all of them. What I don’t like is all these assumptions are based on how one acts. Yes I understand that most of the time there are tomboys that might look like a lesbian, but it just might mean they like wearing the same clothes. I soul heartily believe that society needs to take a little bit more time when analyzing someone. Society is built upon judgment, especially within the realm of sexuality.

Below are some videos that are not only beautifully done, but are extremely beneficial when addressing the topic of gender or identity norms. The first one is a music video titled “Break Free”, featuring the beautiful Ruby Rose showing us was its like to come out of your own skin; and what that process may be or feel like to someone. The second one is a short danish film called “Boy”. It explains to us how confusing it can be to find your own identity. As well as how your decisions can influence or even effect those around you. I highly recommend watching both.  (“Break Free” Music Video)   (“Boy” Short Film)

Tomboys in the Mass Media

Since the beginning of the narrative cinema in the early 1920s, the media has had certain standards or criteria about how females should be portrayed. This criteria was based upon societies ideals of the ‘traditional’ woman—who is attractive to look at, content and well mannered, desires the domestic life, and will do as she’s told. If for any reason a female character falls outside of these ideals, then she was labeled an outcast or an ‘untraditional’ woman. So with that said, what is a tomboy according to the media?

In American films, tomboys are usually just side characters with a label over their heads. Or maybe even a phase that the main girl was supposedly going through; like adolescence. My point is, tomboys today don’t really have central light focused on them in the mass media. They’re kind of just standing there in the background; untouched and un-relatable. However, society has recently become increasingly more educated when it comes to identities. People are starting to look more closely at the main message(s) of films. To the point where they’re changing their perceptions about the portrayal of females in both society and the mass media.

The Disney Tomboy

I came to the conclusion, that the best way to show examples of portrayals of tomboys in films was to look at films that have such a huge impact on female identities. From the minute we’re born we start building up our identity. Like most American girls, we look to Disney princesses to help us find our way. However, I noticed that as time has gone by, more Disney’s princesses are starting to show a tomboy personae. Disney touched on this idea back when they made Mulan (1998). By making Mulan, Disney proposed an idea that females don’t always have to be all girly and obsessed with marriage. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that society wasn’t really ready for this new persona. So they went back to their original topic in Disney films, true love. However in the past 20 years Disney has brought back their original idea, and we can see it being used in films like The Princess and the Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), Brave (2012), and their recent film Moana (2016). While I adore the films The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, I argue that these films do not show their females portraying a tomboy persona. Rather, they show these princesses in a more tenacious sort of way. For instance, Tina and Rapunzel show some characteristics of having a very strong and determined personality, like a tomboy. On the flip side though, both of them are still acting within the confines of the ‘traditional woman’. In the end, making them not a tomboy.

Disney’s newest film Moana, is the first disney film to completely disregards anything that deals with disney’s old idea, about love and marriage. I’d like to mention that throughout the entire film, not once was it mentioned that Moana had to get married or even had the idea of love on her mind. Instead the film focuses on the message of determination and staying true to yourself, even if that means going against what other people want or say. I would agree that its films like Moana that cause the film industry to really question the idea of how females should be portrayed in films. That we can still have a great film filled with adventures, without having to add in the topic of love.

Too add some more light on the subject. I think Disney knows how much of an influence it can have on people; children especially. Little girls all over the world love to dress and act like their favorite princess. And I’d like to believe that the reason why they’re starting to show more masculine females, is because society (or the film industries) are starting to realizing that not every girl’s mind is fixated on gold diamond dresses and finding true love. That we can be strong determined females, and that there are girls that don’t care for makeup and dresses. And even though, disney doesn’t really have that many tomboy princesses, they still shows strong female characters that fight for themselves and don’t just sit around waiting for a fairy godmother to come and fix all their problems. In some respects, this is just one of the main reasons how the media can have a huge impact on a child’s identity.

Futuristic Tomboys

We all know that the media can influence society just like a puppeteer can influence its puppet. In some respects, what I have written here are just some of the ways the media can have a huge impact on someone’s identity. Growing up with films like Mulan, I learned that it was okay for me to fight back. That I didn’t need to wear a dress and fall head over heals for every guy that looks my way. I grew up with two lesbian moms, that taught me that just because I’m a tomboy, doesn’t make me any lesser than any other girl. Times are changing; and for the better I may add. My hope is that one day the media will use their power to influence people’s assumptions of not just tomboys, but every person with a different identity or gender outside of society’s so called norms.


Abate, Michelle Ann.  “Tomboys : A literary and Cultural History.”  Philadelphia : Temple University Press. 2008.

Bailey, J. M.; Bechtold, K. T.; & Berenbaum, S. A. . “Who Are Tomboys and Why Should We Study Them?” Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 333–341. August 2002.

Brave”. Directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios. (2012). Film.

England, D. ; Descartes, L. ; Collier-Meek, M. “Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses” Sex Roles. Vol.64(7), pp.555-567.  February 2011.

If I was a Boy”. Performed by Beyoncé. Song. Released 2008.

King, Elizabeth. “A Short History of the Tomboy.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 05 Jan. 2017. Web.

Moana”. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Co-Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. Walt Disney Animation Studio. (2016). Film.

Mulan”. Directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook. Walt Disney Animation Studio and Pictures. (1998). Film.

Tangled”. Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Walt Disney Animation Studio and Pictures. (2010). Film.

The Princess and the Frog”. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Walt Disney Animation Studio and Pictures. (2009). Film.

Tomboy”. Directed by Céline Sciama. New Almaden, CA : Wolfe Video LLC. (2011). Film.

Womak, Finch . “Tomboys and Girly girls-The Portrayals of Femininity in Disney Princess Films.” Looking in the Popular Culture Mirror: Student Essays from University Studies 254. N.p., 14 Dec. 2016. Web.

Love Graphic Design More Please!


Are you an artist or are you a designer? Maybe you’re both. As a designer in training, I’ve found that when talking about my future career people don’t know much or anything at all about what Graphic Design is. I’ve also notice a huge lack in Graphic Design being portrayed in media. This makes me feel as though graphic design is not important even though it is integrated into most of the things we see and use on a daily basis. Graphic design is very important to our society as should be respected more as a profession. Graphic designers are constantly finding solutions to design problems that often go completely unnoticed.

I feel a though on of the reason Graphic design is not respected much as a profession is because it is often put in the same category as ‘art”. And we always here the stereotypes of how artist are gonna end up broke and/or working at a Starbucks. Now I believe art and artist are a wonderful and important part of our society, but art and Graphic design are two totally different things. The difference between art and design is quite obvious yet people don’t know the differences and often make judgments on graphic design based on this lack of knowledge. Being a designer takes a deal of knowledge and skill and the process a designer goes through to create art is long and requires lots of revision. In order to teach others more about graphic design and it’s importance to our society, I decided to explore representations of Graphic design in media and then answer some questions based off of my explorations; Why is graphic design thought of as a lazy profession? Who are some graphic designers that have influenced the world heavily? Why is graphic design important to our society? What is the difference between ‘Art’ and ‘Graphic Design’

Susan Kare- Mac’s Icon Mother


Susan Kare is the woman who made Apple’s Macintosh computers first icons. She has also made thousand of icons for some of the biggest software companies in the world. Using principles of minimalism, Kare was able to create precise icons that conveyed their function to the viewer quickly and were easy to remember. In an interview of Kare, she stated that she “think[s] of design as problem-solving(3). She tries to understand the audience and their needs before she begins creating solutions. Kare would “explore many avenues while brainstorming since there’s never only one ‘right’ answer”.

When asked how she feels about new design software and how it has influenced Graphic Design today, Kare explained that she believes Graphic Design now is more about how someone crafts a design vs. the tools the use to make it. She also touches on the idea that participating in a long process or trial and error leads someone to good insight and results vs. making something that is aesthetically pleasing and is “over-shared” thus contributing to the predictability and uniformity in visual expression(3).

Susan’s works are remarkable and the reason to how we are able to understand the computer icons we see today. There are many version produced now, but all influenced by Kare’s original works. Without her exploration and brainstorming to create these initial icons would computer icons be as useful as they are today? I don’t believe so.

Her mention of aesthetically pleasing and over-shared design is important too, as it relates to what we see in design now where peoples’ work can be posted on a number of social media platforms and get mixed in with a similar design, thus not making it special or thoughtful. Lots of people now claim they are a designer just because the created a simple logo in photoshop, but what process did they go through in order to get to the finished product? What purpose does it serve other than being visually satisfying, if it even is that?

Paula Scher- Typography Queen


Paula Scher is a Graphic Designer with a focus in Typography, painter and art educator in design, and the first female principal at Pentagram( a design firm in New York). She was recently featured on an episode of the new Netflix original documentary series Abstract. In this documentary, it follows Scher as she works and lets her talk about her time as being a designer for 40 years. Scher has created album covers for hundreds of bands and logos for some of the biggest companies in this world such as Tiffany & Co., Citi Bank, The Public Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, and much more(6 &12). She is basically the QUEEN OF LOGOS! Slaaaayyyy

Scher works remind me just how much we are surrounded by graphic design and a designer’s work(s) every day. Every sign and album cover we see has been designed by someone in order to differentiate a business or group from others. We see these images and sometimes we’ll think they’re super cool and snap pics and post them on Instagram, but does anyone know who created these works? Does it matter? I believe it does. Why? Because someone took time and spent energy and sketched, doodled, and made mockups in order to produce what we see and they are not appreciated or given the credit they should be given.

Tiffany & Co. is notably one of the most famous jewelry stores and their brand is very memorable. Paula Scher made that happen.

Annie Atkins-Movie Prop Designer


Annie Atkins is literally the designer behind the scenes. She creates artwork for movies starting from the poster, to the graphic props needed in movies like telegrams, prison escape maps, shop front signs, fake passports, etc. She is the person who creates the things that help make the movie come to life and seem more realistic. The cool part? Atkins doesn’t use much technology to create her works. Depending on the time period she will use the traditional mediums used to create the props needed for the movie(13). Atkins must spend a lot of time researching in order to portrayed the correct look for the overall design of a “historic replication” piece. She also always works right on the location of the movie in order to get a good idea of the feel and mood of the movie. She has never set foot in Hollywood (1). Some of Atkins best works are all type based props in the visual movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, and fake passport and neon signs made for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of spies.

Atkins is good example proving that graphic design doesn’t happen just on a computer and that lots of research and work go into creating every design. Her works played a crucial, yet mostly ignored part of the movies previously mentioned. If her designs did not match the aesthetic of the movie in the time and place it was located, the whole story would have failed to come together. Some of the best parts of movies are the graphic props they use, so to think that someone had to design every little thing is mind blowing to me!

Questions to answer:

Why is graphic design thought of as a lazy profession?

Lots of people I’ve met assume that because I want to be a Graphic Designer I’m lazy and that all I want to do is create art all day and overcharge people for my services. But I don’t want to do that. I mean creating art all day sounds fun, but I rather design and brand people and businesses all day long. I think the reason why a lot of people think Graphic Design is a lazy profession and that anyone with a computer can be a Graphic Designer is because of freelance servicing sites that allow people to “brand”  themselves for free or really cheap. Because of sites like these, people then start to think designers charge too much money for their work that seems to be as easy as taking an odd shape and putting a nice font over it and calling it a logo.

After reading Graphic Design: The Rodney Dangerfield of Professional Services, I agree with a lot of the points that are made. For example, “ I’m a graphic designer, you know, I design logos, brochures, websites.  ……Maybe collectively, similar lackadaisical answers to “what do you do” is our undoing.” (8) Meaning that maybe because designers talk about their jobs in such simple terms people begin to think it is a simple job. Designers don’t talk about it well and the public doesn’t care to stop and notice how well a designer had done their job in designing a sign, or a yogurts company packaging.

“So when I hear, “what do you do for a living?” Next time I’ll answer, ‘I help businesses manage customer perceptions and influence the decision process by communicating benefits and features through sensory involvement. I am a designer, a graphic designer.’’(8)

Designers need to start talking about their jobs more like jobs and not hobbies and consumers should start paying more attention to the things they buy and why it caught their attention to pick it up and appreciate the person who got them to do it.


Graphic design vs Art: what is the difference?

“Art is expressive and usually about what the artist wants whereas design is about intent and what the audience wants. Design is about communication, art is about expression.”
– Robert Blake(10)

Art and Design often confused because principles and elements in art are similar to those in design and a lot of the techniques used for one are used in the other. However, the purpose is totally different. Graphic design aims to solve problems or communicate a specific thing in order to give a client/ the audience what it wants. Art expresses what the artist wants and is being done for the artist. It can convey a message, but usually, the message is emotionally tied to the artist themselves to then show to an audience. I think it is important to know the difference between Art and Design because then design can start to grow an identity for itself separate from design, thus giving the designer more of a stage as critical thinkers and problem solvers.


Conclusion- Why is graphic design important to our society? Thoughts and hopes for the future.

Graphic design and design, in general, is literally everywhere around us. It allows us to recognize our favorite brands, navigate our way in a mall to the bathroom, and know which button to press on our phones to make a call. Graphic Designers should be appreciated more because without them some problems in our world would not have a solution. People would deal with signs and symbols that aren’t effective in conveying their message, and businesses could not have their own unique identities. Paula Scher, Annie Atkins, and Susan Kare are only a few of the designers that have influenced our world in wonderful ways. Other designers such as Milton Glaser who created the I LOVE NY logo and Shepard Fairey created of the OBEY Giant Brand and more known for his Obama “Hope” poster. Fairey recently created a “We the People” series as a way to protest President Donald Trump. (4) As an up and coming designer, I want this field that I love so much to be valuable and thought of its own category so that I and designers like me can shine a bit more in this world.


“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives, whether or not we are aware of it, and can also be inspiring, empowering and enlightening”
– Alice Rawsthorn(7)

Learning moments of the term

This Pop-culture class has taught me a lot about myself and how I view the social media I consume. I had never thought too deeply question or research further the things on saw on my social media as I never thought that there was a problem. Through this class, I have learned that nothing is standard anymore. All search engines have special algorithms that purposely filter through my search results to show me the things I want to see to that I will agree with. These “filter bubbles” block me from seeing views that differ from my own, thus I’ve been missing out on others thoughts on issues I care about. I was starting to think lots of people my age thought the same way I did/do on topics and now I know this isn’t true, leaving me to look quite ignorant. I no longer take videos at face value now take in the media I consume with a grain of salt and research further anything I have more questions about.

I also found that marketers looking to advertise use old contemporary or English paintings to sell a product, was also quite fascinating and sad. In one way its is powerful that artwork that old still inspires people today and the compositions are mimicked to sell products well, but on the other hand, it is quite devious. Marketers are basically telling this idea that if you buy their product you will begin to live that lavish life of the people in the ad. This, however, is a false promise. I also think that using this technique helps to reinforce ideas about groups of people and cultures.

For instance, this magazine cover featuring Lebron James is quite eye catching. Yet compare it to the propaganda poster on the left, 100 years older than the cover, and we find some scary similarities(11). The message present in the propaganda poster is still being conveyed in the cover. Is it on a different level? Yes, but it is still very much present.

original (1)


[1]”About.” Annie Atkins. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[2]AdobeCreativeCloud. YouTube. YouTube, 21 June 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[3]Butler, Andy. “Interview with graphic designer Susan Kare.” Designboom | architecture & design magazine. N.p., 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[4]Chung, Stephy. “‘Hope’ artist’s new posters protest Trump.” CNN. Cable News Network, 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[5]Crockett, Zachary. “The Woman Behind Apple’s First Icons.” Priceonomics. N.p., 03 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[6]Dunne, Carey. “Graphic Designer Paula Scher: “I Figured Out Every Identity I’ve Ever Done In A Taxicab”.” Co.Design. N.p., 13 Apr. 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[7]Heller, Steven. “‘Design Is One of the Most Powerful Forces in Our Lives'” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[8]Levins , William. “Graphic Design: The Rodney Dangerfield of Professional Services.” Nuvonium. N.p., 30 Apr. 2009. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[9]“Paula Scher | Biography, Designs and Facts.” Famous Graphic Designers. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[10]Robertoblake2. YouTube. YouTube, 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[11]Shea, Danny. “Uncovered: Possible Inspiration For Controversial LeBron James Vogue Cover.” The Huffington Post., 28 Mar. 2008. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[12] N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

[13]Strizver, Ilene. “Annie Atkins: Graphics and Typography for Film.” N.p., 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.